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20 June 1941: Malta Attacks Wreak Havoc on Axis Convoys

20 Jun

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WAR CABINET STILL IN THE DARK ON AXIS PLANS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

Allied submarines have inflicted considerable casualties on enemy shipping in the Mediterranean, according to a report the British War Cabinet. The statement was part of the weekly report provided to the cabinet today on the state of the war in the Mediterranean.  However, the Cabinet remains concerned at the lack of new intelligence to indicate German intentions in the eastern Mediterranean or Middle East.

RAF capacity in Malta and North Africa has benefited from a considerable reinforcement of aircraft, brought through the western Mediterranean and flown off to Malta from HM Aircraft Carriers Victorious and Ark Royal, covered by Gibraltar-based ships.

69 Squadron Marylands locate Axis shipping

69 Squadron Marylands locate Axis shipping

Reconnaissance flights from Malta have covered the coasts of Sicily and Tunis, the Aegean Sea and Naples. Two Blenheims were despatched to attack a merchant vessel of about 5000 tons off Pantellaria, and scored five direct hits.  The attack was carried out form a very low level and one of the aircraft was lost after striking the ship’s mast.  Swordfish of the Fleet Air Arm have also attacked shipping and on 13th June bombed Tripoli, causing fires to break out in the harbour area.

In the past week, Italian aircraft have approached Malta on several occasions but there have been no serious attacks; bombs were dropped on two nights bombs, without serious damage. On 12th, nine fighters and two rescue float planes were destroyed by Hurricanes, of which three were lost.

MALTA AMATEUR DRAMATIC CLUB TO CLOSE

Malta Amateur Dramatic Club has announced the decision to close for the immediate future. The Club’s theatre in South Street, Valletta, can hold only 70 patrons but has found it difficult to attract audiences since the reduction in bus services, which now run only in the morning and afternoon.  In view of the strict curfew, shows have been starting at 3pm.  At the start of each performance, directions have been given to the nearest Air Raid Shelter should the play have to be interrupted because of enemy air activity. The last play to be performed will be “On Approval” by Frederick Lonsdale.

AIR RAIDS DAWN 20 JUNE TO DAWN 21 JUNE 1941

Weather  Hot and sunny.

No air raids.

OPERATIONS REPORTS FRIDAY 20 JUNE 1941

AIR HQ  Arrivals 8 Blenheim. Departures 1 Hudson. 69 Squadron 5 Marylands on reconnaissance; F/O Warburton machine-gunned aircraft on aerodrome at Misurata, with success. 82 Squadron 5 Blenheims searched for reported convoy without success.

1st Bn CHESHIRE REGIMENT  His Excellency the Governor toured our defence posts and expressed satisfaction with his findings.

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS  Bomb Disposal UXB reported 1.

2nd Bn ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT  25 pdr moved into position near Addolorata.

 

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Posted by on June 20, 2016 in 1941, June 1941

 

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